Today is Wednesday, November 29, 2023 The Water Taxi is not running.
HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES on the THAMES - Holiday Open Houses, Santa Visits, Menorah Lighting, Nutcracker Ballet, Lessons and Carols, Shopping with Santa and more!

Docent Academy Resources



Cultural Outreach  

Native American Lesson Plans

Native American Resources

First Indian War aka King Phillip’s War
Our Beloved Kin by Lisa Brooks 

Pequot War – 1636-1637 


The Mark of Uncas

The Mark of Uncas – Cohegan Rock

Tantaquidgeon Museum


Docent Academy – Week 1 Thames History Overview Presentation by Deborah Donovan

Docent Academy – Week 1 Colonial to Contemporary Times – an outline by New London Historian Sally Ryan.

History of New London Connecticut: from the first survey of the coast in 1612 to 1860 by Frances Manwaring Caulkins.  Available for sale at NLCHS (normally $60 available to Docent Academy participants for $36), or for loan at the Public Library of NL and Groton Library.

History of New London County, Connecticut with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men compiled under the supervision of D. Hamilton Hurd – 1882.

Week 2: Colonial Life on the Thames

Hempsted Houses, CT Landmarks
Shaw Mansion, NL County Historical Society
Joshua Hempstead Diary.  The most recent edition is available for sale at the NLCHS.  A new edition with recently found material and newly edited with additional material left out of earlier editions by earlier transcribers, will be available for sale very soon.  At least two or three editions are in local libraries.
A Useful Friend: companion to the Joshua Hempstead Diary by Pat Schaefer.  This award winning book contains maps and an index to the last edition of the Diary (Diary itself only indexes people, this book indexes everything else).  It also includes a very good selection of articles written by Pat about subjects relating to life in Colonial New London/Groton.  
For Adam’s Sake: A family saga in Colonial New England by Allegra di Bonaventura.  A very rich story of New London in Colonial Days revolving around Joshua Hempstead’s enslaved person, Adam Jackson, but it is about so much more. Libraries best.  Might be available from NLCHS or CT Landmarks. Amazon has hardcover NEW for $6.50 (only three left in stock)  and Kindle for $9.97.
Prospero’s American: John Winthrop Jr;, Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture 1606-1676 by Walt Woodward  Libraries probably. $14.99 Kindle edition on Amazon.  Book is over $20.
Murder or Mayhem?:  Benedict Arnold’s New London, Connecticut Raid, 1781  by  Dr. Walter L. Powell.  Short and very good paperback on the Raid.

Week 3: American Revolutionary War on the Thames

Fort Griswold Battlefield and State Park 

The Battle of Groton Heights and the Burning of New London

Ebenezer Avery House

Bill Memorial Library 

Griswold by Charles Allyn – The definitive collection of accounts of the Battle of Groton Heights.

The Battle of Groton Heights: A Story of the Storming of Fort Griswold and the Burning of New London on the Sixth of September 1781 by Norman Hammond Burnham (Author), Rufus Avery (Author), Avery Downer (Author) – includes The Narrative of Rufus Avery from the original manuscript and other interesting matter
handsomely illustrated by full-page engravings.

Jordan Freeman Was My Friend by Richard White – set against the backdrop of the American Revolution and based on a the real-life 1781 massacre at Fort Griswold in Connecticut, this fictional book tells the story about a friendship between eleven-year-old Billy Latham and former slave Jordan Freeman.

War Comes to Willy Freeman by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier – a novel. From Amazon: “Willy Freeman’s life changes forever when she witnesses her father’s death at the hands of the Redcoats and returns home to find that the British have taken her mother as a prisoner to New York City. Willy, disguised as a boy, begins her long search for her mother and luckily finds a haven at the famous Fraunces Tavern. But even with the help of Sam Fraunces and her fellow worker, Horace, Willy knows that to be Black, female, and free leaves her open to danger at every turn. What will tomorrow bring?” 

Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park

The Battle of Fort Griswold by David Rose

Fort Griswold // Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures

Fort Griswold Battlefield

Fort Griswold – Groton Tercentennial Lecture Series

Week 4: The Amistad Story and Whaling Industry on the Thames

Whaling on the Thames

New London Custom House home of the New London Custom House Museum and the New London Maritime Society

Whaling and Desutschland Resources courtesy of Deborah Donovan

TRHP Whaling Tour Photos  
Passcode: whaling 

The Amistad Story on the Thames

Discovering the Amistad

Amistad – National Archives

Amistad Books that Education, Entertain, Empower

The Amistad – How it Began – National Park Service

Week 5: The Military on the Thames

Week 6: Immigration Story on the Thames / Speaking Tips

Week 7: The Gilded Age and Fine Arts (LAAM) on the Thames / Learning Styles

Gilded Age on the Thames  1870-1900

Lyman Allyn Art Museum 

Monte Cristo Cottage – in addition to general information on the cottage, this page includes an extensive list of resources on O’Neill

Eugene O’Neill Resource List – listing of resources on Eugene O’Neill compiled by Deborah Donovan

Eugene O’Neill’s New London: Stories from the Park 

Pequot Chapel

Pequot Colony District – 1852 – 1930…/Pequot_Colony_Historic_District

Learning Styles

Understanding Your Learning Style

Week 8: Pulitzer & Nobel Prize Playwright, Performing Arts and Culture on the Thames

Week 9: New London Black Heritage Trail / The Visitor Experience

Week 10: FORT TRUMBULL / Graduation

Social Media / YouTube / Trip Advisor

If you are on social media, please be sure to follow Thames River Heritage Park and to like, comment about, and share the Park’s posts.

Write a review about the Park and it’s heritage sites in Trip Advisor –